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Breaking the Speed of Sound – 1947 & 2012!

Yesterday, I spent a good majority of the day watching the live stream of the Red Bull Stratos project.  I was so excited about this. I’ve been fascinated with jet airplanes since, I don’t know, I was born!! I mean, come on, my dad is retired US Air Force. I grew up with tactical fighter jets all the time! In fact, I didn’t have posters of teenage heartthrobs on my wall. No, I had pictures of the sweetest, most sexiest of all aircraft, EVER! The SR-71 Blackbird!

I call “jet noise” home. I sure do miss it. I now live near, and work on, a Navy base. Luckily, airplanes are a part of this one. But, the lack of jet engine noise is very disheartening. When they do come around, I get goosebumps! Really! I do!

Because of my exposure to jets, the Air Force, and everything revolving around it, I fell in love. One of my dreams had been to go into the Air Force, as a jet pilot and officer. However, fate saw other things for my life. I tried for 2 years to go into the AF. They had 4 Officer selection boards during that time, and out of them, they only accepted 2 people from Virginia–both Aeronautical Engineers. I blame the downsizing that happened after the first Gulf war for this misfortune. And by the time I tried again, I was too old for commission, and I didn’t want to go enlisted. So, I settle for working FOR the military. I’ve been doing it for the last 15+ years now.

Along with my love for all things “jet”, came the love for the Space program. Seeing as the SR-71 is the highest flying aircraft, capable of going up into near-space, (read stratosphere), and even to this day, its top speed is still CLASSIFIED, I find anything related to the Air Force, jet airplanes, space/NASA fascinating!

My Love of RedBullMy love of Redbull helps as well. I probably would have found this project after the fact, rather than following it for the last couple of months, had it not been for Redbull.

Austria’s Felix Baumgartner earned his place in the history books on Sunday after overcoming concerns with the power for his visor heater that impaired his vision and nearly jeopardized the mission. Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 1,342.8 km (Mach 1.24) jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in free fall and set several other records while delivering valuable data for future space exploration. — Redbull

This was monumental, on so many levels.

Photo courtesy of A.P.

24 miles, 4 minutes, 834MPH, 1 jump!

Not only did he break the sound barrier, he also broke several other records:
  • the highest altitude skydive ( 128,100 feet or 39,045 metres) previously held by Joe Kittinger
  • longest freefall without a parachute (119,846 feet or 36,529 metres)
  • fastest fall achieved during a skydive (reaching 833.9 mph or 1,342 kph), previously held by Joe Kittinger.

Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Stratos, via A.P


Yes, I’m a true geek, but damn proud of it.

If you didn’t see the jump, you can watch the highlights below! So awesome! My heart started pounding as soon as the door swept open!!



  1. Ping from Cheyenne Campbell:

    Even watching it after the fact and knowing it went well still makes me nervous! 😉

  2. Ping from Leigh Caroline:

    Awesome! I saw it after the fact since I wasn’t home, but it’s still amazing!! (also, you forgot to finish the 4th paragraph. :P)

  3. Ping from Becca:

    It was pretty damn incredible for sure. I like the way you geek. 🙂

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